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Ways to Say “Thank You” in English

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When someone does something nice, you should be polite and say, “Thanks” or “Thank you!”

Did you know there are many ways to say thanks to someone? Some ways are formal or professional. Other ways are informal or friendly.

In this lesson, you will learn many ways of saying thanks in different situations.

About Levels of Formality

This passage includes information on “levels of formality” in a language. To learn more about it, see Level of Formality in American Language and Culture.

The above article is also available for intermediate/advanced readers.

Formal “Thanks”

  • I would like to thank you for [something].
    (in spoken English I would like becomes I’d like...)
  • I’m very grateful [for something]
  • Thank you very much!
  • Thank you. I appreciate it very much.
  • Thank you. I appreciate it.
  • I appreciate your [something]

To be grateful is another way of saying to be thankful for something. “Grateful” just sounds more formal than “thankful.”

When you say “I appreciate it” after thanking someone, you are saying that you understand the importance or value of what they are doing or did for you. So, you are expressing even more gratitude than just “thanks.”

Thanks for Something

When you thank someone, you can also say for what you are thanking the person.

Note the use of the preposition for with “thank you” and “to be grateful” no preposition with “appreciate.”

Here are some examples of [thanks] + [for what]:

  • Thanks for your help.
  • Thank you for being a good friend.
  • I’d like to thank you for your help.
  • Thank you very much for doing this for me.
  • Thank you very much for the delicious dinner.
  • I’d like to thank you for inviting me to the party.

Here are some examples of [grateful] + [for what]:

  • I’m grateful for all your help.
  • I’m grateful for your kindness.
  • I’m very grateful for your assistance.

To appreciate needs no preposition. The structure is to appreciate something.

  • I appreciate your help.
  • I appreciate your helping me.
  • I appreciate your kindness.
  • I really appreciate your answering all my questions.

Informal, Friendly “Thanks”

Informal situations are those where, for example, you are talking to family members, friends, or people you have a close relationship with.

In an informal situation, it is okay to say “Thank you very much,” but it may sound too formal. In other informal situations, you may want to be polite but also very friendly.

  • Many thanks for [something]
  • Thank you! You’ve very kind.
  • Thank you!
  • Thanks!
  • Thanks a lot!
  • Thanks a bunch!
  • Thanks a million!
  • Thanks. You’re awesome!
  • Cheers! (mostly in British English)

Notes about Formality

Sometimes you are unsure what level of formality you should use. If you are not sure, it is better to be formal than informal.

A formal, polite “Thank you very much” or “Thank you! I appreciate it” is a safe way to thank someone in any situation.

To learn more about levels of formality, see

Next Lesson...

When people say “Thank you,” what do you say back to them? You say, “You’re welcome!” right?

Did you know there are many other ways to say that? Learn about that in the next lesson.

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